I Thought You Should Know | Church serves as God's comprehensive health plan
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
2 Corinthians 8:7,9,13-15
"God did not make death, nor does He rejoice in the destruction of the living."
God is the author of the first comprehensive health care plan.
We see it in the Garden of Eden. The Book of Wisdom tells us, "For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature He made him. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who belong to his company experience it."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, "Even though man's nature is mortal, God had destined him not to die. Death was therefore contrary to the plans of God the Creator and entered the world as a consequence of sin." (#1008)
Christ spent His entire public ministry implementing the Father's comprehensive health care plan. He simply proclaimed the good news to the poor, healed the sick and forgave sinners.
First, He proclaimed the good news to the poor. He proclaimed to all sinners that they were invited to enter the kingdom of Heaven by accepting baptism and by living according to the Gospel He preached. In other words He revealed to them their true calling as children of the Father.
Throughout His public ministry He healed the sick. In today's Gospel, He not only healed the woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years. He also brought back to life the daughter of Jairus, a synagogue official.
Finally, Jesus again and again forgave sinners, and finally died on the cross to take away all sin. He founded a Church where His earthly ministry could continue to the end of time. The Church continues the preaching and teaching ministry of Jesus Christ.
Today the Church is His comprehensive health care plan. Through the waters of Baptism heathens become beloved children of the Father. Through the Sacrament of Confirmation they are filled with the Holy Spirit. Through the Eucharist they are nurtured with Christ's Body and Blood. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation sinners are reconciled with God. Through the Church's charitable works the sick receive the healing ministry of Jesus.
Let us compare God's comprehensive health care plan with the federal health plan. On the one hand, we should give our legislators credit for attempting to develop a plan affordable for all. However, parts of the plan are not health-giving but death-dealing. Since when is pregnancy a disease to be cured? Why are the unborn considered unjust aggressors against their mothers? Why does the government insist that those who wish to follow the law of God respecting life must, instead, follow the law of the government and help destroy life? Why is the federal government insisting on taking away our first and most cherished freedom, namely, freedom of religion? Why is the federal government visiting death, instead of health, upon the unborn?
The answer is simple. We live in a secular society, which acts as if there is no God. If there is no God, then there are no consequences after death. Man can thus make up his own rules as he goes along. Belief in an afterlife is an unnecessary disturbance, and, therefore, the voices of those who believe in an afterlife need to be silenced so as not to interfere with man's project for happiness in this world alone.
Why have some of our Catholic universities fallen from their high calling? Why have some of our priests fallen into sexual abuse of minors? Why have so many of our Catholics dropped out of Sunday Mass attendance? The answer is simple! They have forgotten their calling to eternal life! They have bought into the secular agenda. They live as though life ends with the death of the body!
The answer to the above is simple. Both the synagogue official and the hemorrhaging woman in today's Gospel were in desperate straits. They knew they needed divine help, and they went and got it. It was their faith that initiated the actions that brought them to Jesus.
Today the Church is hemorrhaging many of its members. You and I need to reach out in prayer, witnessing and fasting in order to bring those in our families, our neighborhoods and our workplaces back to Jesus. Invite them to come back. Offer them a ride. Encourage them to return to the Sacrament of Confession. Do it with a smile! Tell them how much freedom and joy come your way when Christ forgives all your sins! When people have problems with the Church, the problem is always their unconfessed sins. With a good confession, those problems disappear.
If a parent saw a toddler walking to the fireplace to pick up a hot coal, they would rush to that child to snatch the child from disaster. They would not be afraid of rejection. Perhaps one of the penances you can offer up for your loved ones is their rude treatment of you or their mockery of religion when you invite them back. When eternal hellfire is the alternative to our silence, the fear of suffering suddenly vanishes. We do not want to watch them walk into the eternal fireplace of Hell!
If you return to them again and again, with joy, you will really confuse them! They thought they had gotten rid of you with their scorn. When they see that the love of Christ impels you to return with a smile, they will know that they have met Christ in you! He will take it from there.
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